ENS Creator Unleashes Lawsuit, Accuses Unstoppable Domains of Tech Theft
- ENS founder Nick Johnson criticizes Unstoppable Domains for patenting blockchain domain tech.
- ENS, since 2017, champions open source principles, with all work under open licenses.
- Unstoppable Domains granted a patent based on ENS innovations, prompting legal concerns.
Nick Johnson, the founder and core developer of Ethereum Name Service (ENS), has issued a compelling open letter addressing the issue of Unstoppable Domains “blockchain domain patents.”
Since ENS’s establishment in 2017, Johnson emphasizes the project’s unwavering support for open source standards and its dedication to managing the global domain name space as a public good.
Johnson articulates ENS’s commitment to open source values, stating that all their work is licensed under open source licenses, and their standards are accessible for implementation by anyone. Notably, ENS has refrained from applying for patents, aligning with its principles of open innovation.
ENS Advocates Collaboration Amid Patent Controversy
However, Johnson points out a contrasting stance taken by UDs, a player in the same domain service space. Despite claiming to support open innovation, UDs has recently pursued patent applications. In an effort to address this concern, Johnson has sent a letter to Unstoppable Domains, emphasizing the importance of license-free innovation, open standards, and collaboration to ensure the progression of the Web3 ecosystem.
Highlighting a specific instance, Johnson reveals that Unstoppable Domains was granted a patent earlier this year, labeled ‘Blockchain Domain Name Resolving,’ with the number US11558344. Johnson contends that this patent relies entirely on innovations developed by ENS and lacks original contributions from Unstoppable Domains.
Expressing skepticism about the legal implications of Unstoppable Domains’ commitment to the Web3 Domain Alliance, Johnson asserts that non-binding commitments cannot be relied upon for core business aspects. He calls for Unstoppable Domains to give legal effect to its commitments and make an unconditional and irrevocable patent commitment. Johnson warns that if this isn’t done, ENS Labs is prepared to challenge the patent, asserting its belief in the unique nature of their invention.
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